Tag Archive 'Caregiving'

Mar 17 2009

Profile Image of edcohen

Great new sources of caregiving info online

Ed Cohen

March 16, 2009

There are 34 million people serving as caregivers in the United States, according to Jill Gilbert, president and CEO of GilbertGuide.com. That’s a website dedicated to helping caregivers find practical advice fast. She was part of a panel session today featuring administrators of websites geared to caregivers.

Andy Cohen, CEO and co-founder of the site Caring.com, said 50 percent of Baby Boomers are already caring for an elder loved one. These Boomers spend an average of 20 hours a week in caregiving, 71 percent of them buy products or services for their parents, and the first place they look for information on caregiving is the Web, he said.

The federal government’s own Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is making a new push into social media. Susie Butler, director of the centers’ division of provider affairs, said the idea is to help beneficiaries by reaching out to the people who are taking care of them. At the CMS site, caregivers can also sign up for an e-newsletter for caregivers that was launched last fall.

The Alzheimer’s Association website, www.alz.org, has message boards where caregivers can share information with each other. There’s also a separate section where there are posts by actual Alzheimer’s patients, people under 65 who have been diagnosed with the early-onset form of the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association also staffs a telephone helpline available 24/7: 800-272-3900.

Nevada caregivers looking for info should also keep in mind the Nevada Care Connection/Aging and Disability Resource Center site, http://www.nevadaadrc.com/.

No responses yet

Mar 17 2009

Profile Image of edcohen

How to build for aging in place

Ed Cohen

March 16, 2009

The non-profit Foundation for Senior Living has a model Caregiver House in Phoenix where caregivers and builders can see how to design or retrofit a house to suit a person with mobility limitations.

Here are some of the “Inventive Solutions for Aging in Place” the organization’s staff shared at a packed session this morning:

  • It can be hard fitting a wheelchair or walker through a standard-width doorway. You can gain a few inches by replacing the hinges with an expandable or offset version that allows you to get the door completely outside of the door frame when opened. Another simple idea is to move the wheels of your walker from the outside of the walker to the inside, saving about three inches in diameter per wheel.
  • Instead of trying to help a senior step up and over the side of a tub to bathe, use a transfer bench. With this contraption the senior sits down on a plastic seat that rests on a track running from outside the tub to inside. The person lifts his or her legs up and ten can slide over into the tub area while remaining on the seat. An even more elegant, but much more expensive ($8,000-$14,000) alternative, is to install a flat-floor shower with the shower sprayer on a wand. The caregiver then rolls the person into the shower in the wheeled chair and bathes the person. That way the caregiver deosn’t have to lean over the side of a tub.
  • The Caregiver House has a conventional dishwasher raised up from its normal height to make it easier to load. Also, the freezer on the bottom of a refrigerator has racks that open outward when the door is opened, and the cabinets have a space underneath for the foot rests of a wheelchair. That allows someone in a wheelchair to get close enough to a cabinet to reach inside.
  • Gardening can be therapeutic, but it’s hard to do from one’s hands and knees, especially someone with mobility issues. The Caregiver House has a raised flower bed that people can work in while seated in a wheelchair or on a scooter.
  • Nosey cups have one part of the lip cut out to fit over one’s nose when drinking. Why? Some people have difficulty tilting their head back far enough to drink.
  • It can be nearly impossible to hoist someone into and out of a car. A round swivel pad is the answer. Have the person back into the car, sitting down the swivel pad, then simply swing the legs into or out of the car. A cheaper makeshift swivel device can consist of a tough large plastic trash bag doubled over itself.

No responses yet